I was doubled over in pain, in bed.
The pain was centralised in my abdomen as if I had a bad stomach bug. It seemed the internalised pressure was having a significant impact on my stools, a squeezing like liquefaction. I was no stranger to watery stools so I was mostly unconcerned. My mantra was This too shall pass.
I slept, in the fetal position from early evening until what would normally be bedtime on a Saturday evening. The pain had not abated and I was to make several trips to the toilet before the clock struck twelve. Some pills before back to bed for the night.
The fetal position was employed all night in an attempt to mitigate the increasing abdominal pain. By the next morning, the liquefaction was making an upward journey – water in, vomit out, abdominal tight. Back to bed and the fetal position. Two days of being doubled over in pain and discomfort that I reduced to a stomach bug.
More pills, this time with an anti-nausea tablet that would hopefully give me a reprieve from the vomiting. It availed little. I told a friend who proceded with caring questions of “Where did the pain start?”, “Where is the pain now?”, “What other symptoms have you got?” Questions I would be asked multiple times in the ensuing days by those with large student loans and hard soled shoes.
She said what I had considered, “Maybe it’s appendicitis…” I sought another opinion from Dr. Google. It lined up. I wasn’t confident in our amateur diagnosis, but there was sufficient reason to see qualified medical advice.
I thought the after-hours would be a sufficient stop as my chauffeur drove in the opposite direction. The hospital. The seemingly unnecessarily overcrowded hospital where wait times extended into hours. The joy of joys. Labourous waiting, discomforted and in pain.
The vomiting continued into small white pails. “How long would it be?” she enquired. “I really need to lie down” I expressed. Between enquiry and request, the nurse was to be called, but this hadn’t happened. Soon after my request, the heavy and heavily guarded doors swung open. “Mr Ward?”
The previous enquiry and the expression that soon followed it were in response to a rise in the numbers, where 1 is next to no pain, and 10 – the most unbearable of pains. By the time I made it through the doors, it was approaching the upper end of the scale. This was when the little white pail was put to greatest use as the watery yellow content seemed to force itself out of my body. The pain causing the vomiting, by this stage, accentuated by the pain of vomiting.
I was given a bed, hard and hardly accommodating. There would be other beds, in time and process.